This body is a raft. It will bear you
through the tumbling waves, the shuddering sighs

of this moment. There is nothing here true,
only the air between us, the slickness

of our shedding skins. In the morning
we will knife each other in the soft spots

between our ribs. We will haul the blades
across and up, through the rigid sternum,

up to our necks, and there we will swear.
We will dismantle each other, preserve

our organs in brine, arrange our
bones like dreamcatchers. Soon the wind will move

through the gaping voids of our bodies
and fill them with something other than love.



I rise in the garden, musk thick in the air. Our
bodies begin the sweatwork of beginnings.

Don’t you know you are a garden? Don’t you
know you are the song in the bird’s belly?

Do you see how the hillside wears the glowing
light? A dress sliding over shoulder blades—

like your body turning from mine, flowing
into my absence, the creased sheets like waves.

The day draws silken shadows on the walls;
memories fading on the whitened page.

The real dream is the space to dream at all
in the space and time the world makes a cage.

But you, against a sky that grows more gold,
are the unmaking of my routeless soul.

RICHARD GEORGES is the author of two collections of poetry, Make Us All Islands (Shearsman Books, 2017) and Giant (Platypus Press, 2018). He won the Marvin Williams Prize for Caribbean Literature in 2015, and has been shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, the Hollick Arvon Prize, the Small Axe Literary Prize, and the Wasafiri New Writing Prize. His poems have appeared in Prelude, Smartish Pace, Wasafiri, Baldhip, The Poetry Review, The Rusty Toque, Those That This, Cordite Poetry Review, Barrelhouse, and elsewhere.